Nissan is expanding the availability of its all-electric LEAF after nearly 7,000 sales in its initial launch markets. The automaker announced today that orders for the 2012 LEAF are now officially being accepted in six new states: Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York.

According to the automaker, customers in those states placing orders immediately will begin taking delivery of their fully-electric hatchbacks by December. That's perfect timing despite those area's notoriously cold climates. The weather might not matter since the 2012 LEAF includes several enhancements aimed primarily at improving usage in cold weather.

"Consumers have spoken, and it's clear that they are looking for a car that produces zero emissions and uses no gas," said Brian Carolin, Nissan North America's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "We are seeing tremendous consumer interest in the Nissan LEAF in these new markets, particularly in the New York metropolitan area."

Nissan says individuals in the LEAF's new markets that already have existing reservations will place the first orders, while the general public will get to submit orders beginning October 3. By the end of the year, Nissan says it will expand LEAF ordering into various other states, including Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Previously, the LEAF had only been available to buyers in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

With nearly 7,000 deliveries in the United States alone, the LEAF has become the first mass-produced, all-electric car to go on sale. For 2012, the automaker is offering the previously-optional cold weather package - featuring heated seats, a rear heating duct, heated mirrors, a heated steering wheel, and battery pack temperature management - as standard equipment. Nissan is also adding a standard quick-charge port to all upscale LEAF SL models for 2012, allowing for compatibility with an increasing number of quick chargers being installed publically and privately throughout the United States.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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